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Nicaragua is one of the least developed and poorest countries in Latin America, second only to Haiti, with more than 42 percent of its residents living in poverty, according to the World Bank. Poverty, although declining steadily in recent years, remains high. More than 80 percent of Nicaragua’s poor live in remote rural communities where access to basic services is a daily challenge.

After decades of political instability and vulnerability to natural hazards, the country has achieved a remarkable economic turnaround and is now focusing on innovative ways of reducing poverty.

More Missions In Nicaragua

Provide technical & vocational training

Salesian missionaries in Managua have launched the Pbro Salvador Cafarelli Motorcycle Maintenance and Repair Laboratory School. The school received technical assistance from the Yamaha brand to develop its curriculum and has cutting-edge equipment and materials to provide students with both classroom learning and hands-on practice.

Youth participating in the course have the opportunity to develop their technical skills in repairing and maintaining motorcycles, as well as enter the workforce as employed mechanics or starting their own motorcycle repair shop.

The program also includes a free online course on motorcycle road safety. Students will be able to obtain a double certification as motorcycle mechanics and road safety professionals. These technical courses allow young people to learn specialized skills and thus achieve means to live honestly. To ensure that the course is accessible for all youth, scholarships covering up to 90 percent of the total course costs are available. This is only the first of 10 workshops that will be set under this program in various vocational training centers throughout Nicaragua.

Deliver life-saving meals

Youth and the elderly in Salesian programs in Managua, the capital and largest city in Nicaragua, have access to better nutrition thanks to an ongoing partnership between Salesian Missions and Feed My Starving Children, a nonprofit Christian organization committed to, “feeding God’s children hungry in body and spirit.” The partnership has resulted in a rice-meal donation that has reached more than 500 beneficiaries in Managua including students at a Salesian-run primary and secondary school, girls at a Salesian boarding school and elderly members of a Salesian church congregation.

Every Monday, more than 80 low-income, mostly elderly people between the ages of 80 and 95 visit a Salesian church in Managua and are provided food and other assistance from the church community. Salesian missionaries in the community have noticed that since the rice-meal donation, the recipients’ strength and health, as well as their mood, have improved. Salesian sisters who operate a boarding school for girls just outside the city also received part of the donation and provided the meals to their boarders who take classes in baking, sewing and embroidery in addition to academic courses toward a high school diploma. The added nourishment has had a significant impact on the girls’ ability to concentrate on their studies.

The primary recipients of the rice-meal donation were two Salesian schools in Managua, a kindergarten for young students ages 3 to 5 and a Salesian high school. Between the two schools, more than 200 students received better nutrition as a result of the donation. The rice-meals were provided to students during the school day as part of a free lunch program to ensure they receive proper nutrition and a balanced diet, helping them to focus on their studies and extracurricular activities. Salesian missionaries began the school feeding program to meet the needs of the many area families with limited resources to feed their children.

Deliver essential equipment & supplies

Mary Help of Christians Elementary, a Salesian-run school in Granada, has new school and office furniture thanks to a recent donation made possible by a partnership between Salesian Missions and GRRO International, an organization focused on supporting surplus property distribution and commodity recycling.

The Mary Help of Christians Elementary School provides pre-kindergarten through grade 8 education for poor youth. Close to 500 elementary school students and their teachers benefited from a donation of three 40-foot containers of new furniture. The new furniture will be used in classrooms, in administrative offices and at the school’s feeding program.

Education has proven to be an effective means of breaking the cycle of poverty while giving the most vulnerable youth a sense of personal dignity and self-worth. Elementary and secondary education lays the foundation for early learning. The donated desks and chairs help provide a more dignified and organized educational environment for students to complete their studies. As a result, students are often more focused on their classroom work and more prepared for their lessons.

Improve health services

The University Clinic for Women and Children Santa Rita de Casia, part of the Catholic University of the Dry Tropics in Estelí, will improve medical care for people with limited economic resources in the northern zone of Nicaragua in the departments of Estelí, Madriz and Nueva Segovia. This project was made possible thanks to a grant from the U.S. Agency for International Development’s American Schools and Hospitals Abroad (USAID-ASHA) program secured by Salesian Missions.

The project, which runs from October 2019 to the end of September 2023, is currently in initial stages of construction. Once the facility is completed and equipped, the medical-surgical clinic for women and children will provide high-quality obstetrics, pediatrics and gynecology services. The clinic, created according to U.S. standards, will promote the U.S. values of gender equity, scientific excellence and equal access to quality medical care.

As part of this project, meetings were held to finalize the rehabilitation and refurbishment of the Santa Rita de Casia Medical Dispensary, which is also part of the Catholic University of the Dry Tropics medical school program, in order to start providing outpatient care to people with limited economic resources.

The medical dispensary features two areas for primary health care and specialties and one area for the performance of and training in minor surgery procedures. It features three hospital beds, washbasins, shelves for files, and didactic materials such as dolls and posters for learning cardiopulmonary resuscitation, cannulation, and endotracheal intubation. Other types of medical and educational services will be provided, including care for children and adults, electrocardiograms, and nebulization, among others.

Medical students in their first to third years of study will train at the medical dispensary and then move onto more advanced training in obstetrics, gynecology and pediatrics at the new medical-surgical clinic.

Thanks to donor funding, Salesian Missions was able to provide furniture for the medical dispensary for offices, meeting rooms and classrooms. The furniture will improve the space for doctors as well as for students and patients.

Improve infrastructure

In February 2016, 23 students from Don Bosco Preparatory High School in Ramsey, N.J. and 12 chaperones went on the school’s annual mission trip to Masaya, the capital city of the Masaya department. Each year over the school’s winter break, students accompanied by teachers, parents and other chaperons head to the Mama Margarita Foundation in Masaya to help with community development and enrichment projects facilitated by the foundation.

The Mama Margarita Foundation was started by the parents of Salesian Father Manny Gallo, who once worked at Don Bosco Prep but is currently with Don Bosco Cristo Rey High School in Takoma Park, Md. The Foundation was started to help families living in poverty in the city of Masaya. On this mission trip, Don Bosco Prep students built a home for a poor family in the community. This was the third completed house built by Don Bosco students.

The group also worked on various other projects with the Mama Margarita Foundation. Dr. Luis Rodriguez, a dentist and friend of Fr. Gallo, joined the mission trip and worked with a local dentist to examine and treat 176 children in five days. Students brought donated items like clothing, toys and dental supplies, such as toothbrushes, floss and toothpaste for the children.


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NICARAGUA: Medical care for people with limited resources to improve through USAID funding

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With approximately 30 percent of the population, or 1.7 million people, living below the official poverty line, Nicaragua is one of the poorest countries in Latin America. While the reasons are many and complex, the number of high

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Feed My Starving Children partnership delivers 42,322 pounds of rice meals to Salesian programs in Nicaragua

Salesian Missions helps the hunger-fighting charity reach school children, the elderly and other vulnerable people in hard-to-reach areas around the globe. NEW ROCHELLE, NY & ESTELI, NICARAGUA (Oct. 19, 2017) Children, mothers

GLOBAL: Salesian Missions Partners with Institution Recycling Network, Benefitting Programs Around the Globe

NEW ROCHELLE, NY (April 26, 2013) Salesian programs around the globe have received school and office furniture as well as workstations thanks to a new partnership between the Institution Recycling Network (IRN) and Salesian M

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Agriculture Training Programs

Salesian Missions includes agriculture in its vocational training programs – to ensure that youth of Rwanda learn better agricultural practices as well as keep the school self-sustaining in the face of the country’s food shortages.

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Salesian Missions includes agriculture in its vocational training programs – to ensure that youth of Rwanda learn better agricultural practices as well as keep the school self-sustaining in the face of the country’s food shortages.

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Technology Program

Salesian Missions includes agriculture in its vocational training programs – to ensure that youth of Rwanda learn better agricultural practices as well as keep the school self-sustaining in the face of the country’s food shortages.

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